Sexton drop goal grabs dramatic victory for Ireland in Paris

Six Nations 2018: France fixtures and schedule as Jacques Brunel's struggling side search for their first title since 2010

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said playing France in Paris was an ideal place to test Ryan's temperament and mettle.

Both players appeared to have suffer knee injuries, but both were referred under the HIA protocols after interventions from the match doctor.

The boss man has seen many things in this insane game but how about an 82nd minute drop goal from 46 metres out to clinch victory from the jaws of defeat in Paris?!

They claimed the 22 drop out and initiated a long sequence of nearly five minutes of possession that ended with Sexton's incredible kick.

French replacement scrum-half Anthony Dupont was removed for a Head Injury Assessment with four minutes to go.

Injuries: France lost their debutant fly-half Matthieu Jalibert after 30 minutes, the 19-year-old hobbling off with a knee injury after a collision in contact with Bundee Aki.

Ireland had led since the third minute through Sexton's first penalty and two more successful kicks, sandwiching Maxime Machenaud's score, had the visitors 9-3 ahead at the break.

With the exception of Sean O'Brien, Ireland are close to full strength for their Six Nation's opener against France in Paris.

Next up: Ireland return to Carton House to prepare for next Saturday's visit of Italy to the Aviva Stadium.

It should make for a more open tournament especially after double defending champions England have had to plug holes left by around a dozen absentees.

But Sexton redeemed himself in flawless fashion with the last gasp victor.

"There are so many players involved, we played a number of phases (41), it was hard to clear out the ball a number of times", said Schmidt.

"We're up against a team in full confidence who had a great a year ago (2017), beating England and winning all their November tests", he said.

What has compounded matters‚ especially for the teams from the Home Unions‚ is the fact that their top players were engaged in a gruelling tour of New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in the middle of previous year. He ran off celebrating and we all went along.

"It will be just another game for me in the way I approach it - and do my best like I have in any other test match but it is something special doing it for the first time".

"I don't think you could have written the script. England won convincingly but were still short by five points to win the Six Nations".

If you ever wanted to know what "trust the process", means, just watch back the end-game.

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